This article is all about Letaba. One of my 3 favourite places in Kruger. For us this camp is different from the others. There is so much to see here that on one occasion we stayed in camp for 3 days without going outside of the gates. The reason for that is the birdlife. During the day, the chatter of the birds is constant… until they all settle down for the night. All the different voices are wonderful to hear.
Apart from the birds there are bushbuck that have taken up residence in the camp and they wander around from tent to caravan in search of something to eat. They are very shy though and are slow to approach humans.
One is not allowed to feed them because they will make a nuisance of themselves and human food is not very healthy for them to eat. Their are signs posted about not feeding the animals but alas, there are still some people that choose to ignore the rules.
We camp near the fence (in a tent as I mentioned in the first article) and we do so because there are Hyenas that patrol the fence also in search of a handout, especially when the barbecue fires are being lit and the smell of meat being cooked starts appealing to the sensitive noses of the carnivores – human and otherwise. The Hyenas take up station on their bellies, front paws crossed, and stare at the people cooking their food – willing them to toss a chop or piece of sausage over the fence. There are horror stories – the truth of which I cannot testify to – of a young girl sticking her hand out holding a piece of meat for hyenas and lost her hand in the process. These are very dangerous creatures, and however cute they make themselves appear…well… just beware!
Elephants also approach the fence browse on trees close by which makes excellent viewing.
We have seen snakes, I hesitate to be specific but I am almost certain that we saw a boomslang in a tree quite high above our heads. This was at night however and the underbelly showed up as if fluorescent in the torchlight. The staff were being very careful and referred to the snake as “inyoka” which is the Xhosa word for snake or serpent.
Letaba has a huge river flowing past the restaurant. Sitting there with some coffee one is entertained by wildlife viz., Elephants, Cape Buffalo, Kudu, Waterbuck, Impala, variety of birds. Most notable amongst the birdlife were the Blue Waxbills and the Fire Finches. Storks and Fish Eagles are also present. In summer months (over November, December & January) the river is full as it is the rain season. I visited during winter so most of the rivers are quite empty. There is however still a lot of water underground – and fairly close to the surface. I have witnessed elephants digging a hole with their huge paws just a few inches deep and they get cool water to drink.
Not only is the viewing awesome, but they also have a Elephant museum in Letaba camp. This museum is a “must see”.
The pathways are nicely laid out with benches to park oneself down with a book, binoculars and something to snack on…
Outside the camp there are lovely roads which offer a lot of game viewing.
Other rest camps within reasonable reach of Letaba for a day trip are: Mopani and Satara. If one needs some serious shopping the town of Phalaborwa is close enough to make a fairly quick excursion to the malls.
The following video gives one a sense of the surroundings…